This has proven to be a big week for the coming musical version of John Waters' 1988 film about desegregation on a TV dance floor in early-1960s Baltimore. Elijah Kelley, a 19-year-old Georgia native, has been picked to play Seaweed.
Kelley was seen most recently in Take the Lead as a troubled teen learning to dance under the tutelage of Pierre Dulaine (Antonio Banderas). He has also been seen on television, with guest-starring roles on Everybody Hates Chris, Numb3rs and The Shield.
The two teens join 17-year-old New Yorker Nicole Blonsky, who this month was named to play the pivotal role of Tracy Turnblad, as the young leads of Hairspray. Other cast members include John Travolta, who will play Tracy's mom, Edna Turnblad; Queen Latifah, who will play record-store owner Motormouth Maybelle; and Amanda Bynes, who will play Tracy's best friend (and Seaweed's girlfriend), Penny Pingleton.
The film will be directed by Adam Shankman (Bringing Down the House) and produced by the team of Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, whose previous credits include the movie musical Chicago.
Production on Hairspray, which is slated for a spring 2007 release, is scheduled to begin Sept. 5, according to Daily Variety. Principal shooting is set for Toronto, with some scenes to be shot in Baltimore.